Trevor Boanas reflects on lifetime contribution honour as brewery follows guest speaker’s green adventure

A towering figure in city commerce and charity had the Lifetime Contribution accolade bestowed upon him at the HullLive Business Awards.

Trevor Boanas’ unstinting work uniting passions across the family firm, football and vital causes was rewarded, with a standing ovation as he made his way to the stage.

Head of business at KCom, Alan Worthing, had told a packed room of his peers how he helped transform the Bonus Electrical business begun by his father.

Read more:Winners’ tales from HullLive Business Awards 2021 as success celebrated

He was instrumental in firing up growth and expansion, turning his attention to fundraising as a trustee for The Daisy Appeal.

Accepting the award, thanking “the many people who have support me, particularly my wife,” he said: “It is very special and something very appreciated.

Trevor Boanas receives the Lifetime Contribution award from Alan Worthing of sponsor KCom. (Image: GRIMSBY NEWS AND PICTURS AGENCY LT)

“I always aimed to put my all in, I think we have an awful lot to offer in life, and helping causes and helping to develop a successful business were the fundamental things I could do.”

To date The Daisy Appeal has raised £20 million, funding treatment and diagnosis of three of the region’s biggest killers – cancer, heart disease and dementia.

Of his inspiration, he said: “Everyone in life is equal, that was the point for me with The Daisy Appeal. It is for everyone, no matter what religion, colour, whether you are rich or poor, whatever your background is, it is there for everybody.

“It has achieved many things, bringing the university and NHS together and we are brokering their dreams.We are putting the dream in place, by challenging ourselves to raise a lot of money. We have had a considerable amount of support from local businesses.”

Raising a glass to absent friends, he also praised those shortlisted.

“I was impressed with the quality of people up on the stage,” he said. “I feel saddened everyone didn’t win, but success will come with patience.”

Jo Fairley was guest speaker at the event, the co-founder of luxury ethical chocolate brand Green & Black’s.

Ahead of the awards being presented, she recalled the early days of the business she brought forward with her husband, now closing in on a £100 million turnover operation. Accolades had been pivotal to success, with marketing and promotion her core tools at the fore.

Jo Fairley addresses Hull Live Business Awards 2021. (Image: Grimsby News And Pictures Agency)

“It was not in anyone’s job description to enter awards, so it was always me at midnight. We won awards, a lot of awards, and capitalised on every one of them.

“If you are a winner or you are shortlisted, make the most of it. In an ever-more crowded marketplace, it is your opportunity to stand out head and shoulders above that crowd. “Endorsements from a third party, particularly one as important as the HullLive Business Awards, are an opportunity to leverage achievement, whether it is on social media or on packaging; it is your opportunity to shout about it, and make sure you do.”

Praising effort, she looked at the emergence from the pandemic. “A lot of people have been like rabbits in headlights, unsure of what to do,” she said. “You guys have been rolling up your sleeves, powering ahead and giving yourselves the competitive advantage.

“In business you need a microscope and a telescope, and nights like these are amazing opportunities to step away from the firefighting and look at what you are doing.”

Her story will have particular resonance for the 2021 Environment and Sustainability category winner, Wold Top Brewery.

Judges had heard how 95 per cent of the barley used to produce the beer is grown on the fourth generation farm it is part of, with water sourced from boreholes.

Cover crops, renewable energy – two wind turbines – and sustainable land management practices have all been introduced, with five acres of native trees planted to offset emissions just some of the headline green credentials.

Kate Balchin, director, said: “I am gobsmacked as the competition was so great, we feel very, very honoured.

Kate Balchin of Wold Top Brewery is flanked by representatives of award sponsor Wykeland Beal, Jamie Barrington, left, and David Donkin. (Image: Grimsby News And Pictures Agency)

As a company it is very important to have such ethics, but I do think people are really starting to pay attention to where food and drink comes from.

“If we can produce our own barley and energy in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way we are doing what we can. I like to think as a small business on the Yorkshire coast we can show larger businesses in Hull that we are proud of what we are doing, it is real and having an impact – and is all part of changing people’s perceptions about how we source food and drink. If we can do that, and do that, that’s great.”